They love each other, and I love them. Although, one of them damaged my spirit and flesh because of a certain reason, and he left a scar of bitter loathing within my soul, poisoning my sanity through thinking that unwanted reminiscence… but in the end, I averted my own revulsion from the man who nearly killed me. Yes, we already forgiven each other, and I found myself praying for his happiness, especially with his husband…
* * *
Alfred F. Jones was one of the most popular boys in high school for his looks, unusual qualities, and even his background history. He was a youngster at the age of sixteen with blond hair, light skin, flashing blue eyes behind the silver frame of his glasses, and the notable strand that always sticks up from his hair, all sum up together with his unbounded smile to define his persona: jovial, independent, optimistic, feisty, and any other qualities of a summer’s child.
He is, somehow, the opposite to his twin Matthew, who has a longer blond hair, same eyes except that he has a slight shade of violet mix in blue behind those glasses, and his perceptible strand is curlier than Alfred’s. He may look alike his brother, but Matthew is more reserved, shy, quiet, and calm. However, the tragedy of Matthew’s character is the fact that only a few people notice him, and that includes Alfred himself.
In a long history, Alfred and Matthew were both six when they witnessed their mother’s death. Alfred never told me the cause of her loss, and probably never will. They have no trace of their father’s identity whatsoever, their deceased mother never mentioned him on any account until they read her memoir that the man left her out of spite when she was pregnant.
By the time they became orphans, they were placed under the care of a family friend, Arthur Kirkland. A British in his late-twenties with a messy blonde hair, and eerie green eyes underneath his obviously big eyebrows, he lived in his own house alone without any priorities of getting a wife (or a husband). But when chances came that he must take responsibility on raising two boys in their salad days, Arthur decided to call Francis Bonnefoy, his long-time friend and rival whom he called “Frog” due to being French and sometimes called him as “sloppy and annoying”, while in reality, he considered Francis to be “undeniably handsome” with his long golden hair tied with a blue ribbon, his subtle beard, and rare violet-blue eyes that seek passion. Arthur invited him to his place, and conceivably, suggested him to live with them since Francis was living in an uncomfortably small apartment and Arthur needed someone to cook for them (because as much as Arthur hates to admit it, he doesn’t know how to cook, even a simple boiled egg).
For ten years, Arthur and Francis raised Alfred and Matthew together, almost like a family given that the British and the French usually bicker whenever they feel like it, but the younger ones managed to get used to it over time until they saw this as a daily ritual.
But this story doesn’t end here. If truth be told, this is just the beginning.
* * *
It all began in New York during the middle of the season when the jade-colored leaves morphed their colors into orange with tints of red, complimenting the sun’s golden rays. It was Alfred’s second day as a sophomore in high school. They didn’t do much in the first day like starting the first unit since the teachers must get to know their student, especially their names in which some confused an Anthony with an Eric or a Samantha with an Emily. At the same time, the school decided to let you hang out with other students, more or less. And get their phone numbers in case of an emergency. Let’s just say, the whole day was just a post-summer-vacation moment. Now that it was the second day, for Alfred, it was the epoch of turning point in his life…
* * *
A young man with pale skin, dull dark-brown eyes, and straight black hair with bangs that covered his forehead walked down the hallway with his guidance counselor leading in front of him. The black haired boy could feel his stomach churning into a tight knot as if he was suffocating inside as they were getting closer and closer to the intended destination. He was nervous, or rather, he was scared, he never went to school before, in fact, he was home-schooled. He never met new people or even socialized with them since he always loved the thought of staying indoors, isolate in his room, and play video games or watch anime twenty-four/seven. But that was going to change when his mother got promoted in her job and she must start living in New York with her two sons, who do not share the same father. And now, there he was, almost near to his classroom, he must prepare himself on his first day.
Okay, relax. He told himself through his thoughts. Take a deep breath. Remember: don’t make eye contact with anybody. Don’t talk to anybody. Don’t say anything unless you were asked to. Just pretend that this is an anime world. Think positive, and you’ll do fine.
He flinched at the sound of knuckles knocking on the wooden door. As someone gave his guidance counselor the permission to come in, they went inside, and that’s when he discovered a whole new world.
Students yelling, others throw paper airplanes, some were texting on their phones while there are some who were taking pictures of themselves, what was that name again? Selfie? He was absolutely new into those kinds of things, like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and etc. etc. He may be advanced in terms of technology, but that’s for another purpose, and social media was not on the list. Some students were talking too loud, almost cursing and ready to punch the pulp out of each other.
He then saw a group of four boys: three of them are blond and one of them was an albino. One blond has deep dark violet eyes and has a detached curl beside his head. The said blonde was strangling the life out of another blond with blue eyes and gelled hair, begging his companion to stop but the former only gave him a deadpan look. Meanwhile, their albino companion enjoyed seeing one of them was being choked, and he kind of expected that they should start a fight so he began chanting. And the last one was a blond boy with a strand of hair sticking up from his hairline, he wore glasses, and behind those frames were the most beautiful shade of blue orbs he ever saw, it reminded him of something… the ocean, the thing he crossed from his mother country to this new world, the very water he took pleasure in looking with appreciation and comfort.
“Class please settle down!” the teacher shouted, trying to get their attention as he was trying to control his temper. The black haired boy noticed that he had an Austrian accent. “I want all of you to quiet down for just a moment because Mr. Bevins wants to say something.”
His guidance counselor, Mr. Bevins, faced front and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new student here with us. He is from Japan.”
The teacher stretched out his hand towards the boy. “Welcome to America Mr.…”
“Honda,” the new student answered, shaking his hand. “Kiku Honda.”
“Nice to meet you,” the teacher smiled. “My name is Mr. Roderich Edelstein, and I’ll be your music teacher as well as homeroom adviser.”
“His name is Kiku Honda,” Mr. Bevins said to everyone in the room. He motioned Kiku to face his classmates. He did it timidly, and once he raised his head to look up at them, he saw all of their gazes were on him like he was an alien. It made him uncomfortable, so he went looking back to his feet.
Mr. Bevins continued, “And just like what I said, he is from Japan. He is new here so I want everyone to be very nice to him, no criticizing whatsoever.” The last one was a bit of a threat.
Mr. Edelstein then motioned him to take a seat. Looking at the room, the first vacant seat Kiku saw was the second seat at the second row. He sat there without a second thought or even realizing that he was sitting in front of the boy with ocean-blue eyes.
* * *
Kiku’s day went on pretty well… well almost. He was fortunate enough to have nice teachers whom he could look up to; he respected them more than anyone ever did in this school. Yes, there were times he did something stupid like going in the wrong class, bumping into students, and of course tripping in some cases. But who could blame him? He never knew what school was like except in the mangas and anime, but in this situation, in his situation, it was a lot different. In high school, he expected that there would be cute girls in uniforms and good-looking boys with slanted or bigger eyes, festivals, students cleaning the room, eating lunch at the rooftop, girls confessing to boys, and other things beyond that. But no, for Kiku, it felt like he was in a jail.
It was lunchtime, and finally, a little break from his classes. Kiku doesn’t need to buy his lunch from the cafeteria since his mom already packed a bento for him. That was not a big problem actually, but the real problem was: where would he sit? He asked every person on each table with an unoccupied seat if it was taken and their answers were always yes. Some claimed it was taken even though no one was really sitting there, others put their bag on top to make it “occupied”, while there were some who dragged a vacant chair away to their table on whatever motives.
Leaving him with no choice, Kiku decided to take his lunch out. On small grassland within the campus, not far from his next class, there was a dogwood tree that stood there. When Kiku sat under the shades, he felt like he was back in his home, peaceful, incredibly beautiful, comforting, away from other people like he always wanted to.
“Itadakimasu!” the young Japanese phrased placing his chopsticks in his hand, he was ready to pick up a sushi when he felt a shadow hovered him. He looked up and saw him. The boy with eyes that looked like the ocean knelt down with a cheery smile plastered on his face while his hand was stretched out as if he was reaching something.
The blue-eyed boy opened his mouth and said, “Hey! Can I join you here?”
Kiku paused for a little while, absorbing the fact that someone was asking him to be his company, something he had never done before except with his mother and stepbrother. He smiled as an acceptance, and the boy’s blue eyes glint in excitement.
And that’s how Kiku Honda met Alfred F. Jones.